How can I choose a career after 12th that suits me? If you are one of those who are looking for a genuine answer without any success, this article may help you in a most convincing manner. In many ways, what you do after 12th is going to be one of the most momentous decisions of your life.
There are very few who know for sure at the age of 17 or 18 precisely what they wish to do, what they wish to become after 12th and they proceed straightaway to that pre-determined goal. But don’t worry, you can learn about most suitable career for you by following a step by step method. All I want you to evaluate your limitations and constraints. Are you ready?
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How to Choose Right Career For Myself
Most of us have only a vague idea of what we wish to do in life. It is not as if the sufficient information is not there. There are scores of career counselors, websites and newspaper columns ready with aptitude tests and career option lists. While these are indeed helpful, you must first know where your heart lies. And whether it speaks the same language as your head! Only then can this deluge of information move you in the right direction.
Career Judgement Flowchart
To help out those who are somewhat or totally clueless about which career path to take after 12th, I have developed a very simple flowchart. To use it, just copy it on a sheet of paper and write down all that you have going. Read it, redo it again and again. And soon, thoughts will fall in place, and concrete ideas will emerge. The Flowchart directs you towards career suitable for you.
Identify Your Aspirations
We may want the Moon but that does not mean that it is going to fall in our lap. You have to be realistic and flexible in your choices. Want to be an IAS? Well, if you are brilliant in studies and communication skills, you have a reasonable chance. But if you have been a very average student throughout, I would recommend you to set different goals for yourself. Don’t think it makes you lesser, it simply makes your strategy more effective and sensible. We are fortunate to be living in times where there is no dearth of career options. You only have to match up your requirement, limitations and aspirations to the ones you zero on in.
Match Your Aspirations to Your Interests
Whatever the peer or parental pressure, never ever succumb and choose an education stream you find a dead bore. You will never be happy, never be satisfied or indeed be any good in it. Everyone has his or her own set of skills, interests and potential. Make a list of things you like doing, and possible careers associated with it. For example, if you like cooking, you could aim to be a dietitian or a masterchef or a restaurateur. Does this embarrass you? Well, it can also make you feel proud.If top chefs like Sanjeev Kapoor and Vikas Khanna had been embarrassed about liking cooking as teenagers, they would never have made it to what they are today!
Perhaps your passion is great as a hobby but will never suffice as a career. It is important to balance what you enjoy, what you are good at (your skills), and what jobs are available. Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a single day in your life. This is a cliché. You can make a good job of a career you simply enjoy.
Not every passion can yield a decent livelihood; it can simply also be a healthy, healing getaway, or a foundation to a totally different career. For example, you may be as passionate about cricket as Sachin Tendulkar, but do you have the talent to support your passion? If not, better enjoy cricket on weekends. And choose a career that will give you the means to pursue your hobby on days off. Or else, aim to build a career that gives you a good and steady dose of your passion.
If you love cricket without being outstanding in it, but have good communication skills, may be sports journalism will be a good option for you. Harsha Bhogle is an IIM Ahmadabad alumnus. He combined his excellent oratory skills with his love for cricket, and is now a household name.
List Your Limitations
College education does not come cheap. Especially if you have to move to another city or country for your desired course. Assuming you make the grade to the college and the course of your choice, can you (or your parents) boot the bill? If not, do consider and explore all options vis-à-vis scholarships and student loans. Or be ready to pursue the course of your choice at a closer home college of lesser pedigree. Indian parents are generally pre-disposed towards investing in their child’s education. But do ensure that you will put their hard earned money to good use.
Straighten Your Priorities
One of the major aims of higher education is to equip you with work skills for self dependence. You know your circumstances better than anyone else. In the Indian social setup, children are financially dependent on parents till they start earning themselves. How long do you wish to be dependent on your parents financially, you need to give this due thought too. If there are financial constraints at home, may be, for now, a 1 or 2 year vocational diploma with reasonable job options will suit you better. You can aim to pursue higher education later, like many do as a matter of course in developed nations.
Prepare Plans A, B and C
There is many a slip between the cup and the lip. Nothing in life is 100% sure, including our plans. So start preparing Plan B (and Plan C too). Be ready to not be disheartened if your plan A closes its doors to you. Move on to Plan B. Who knows someday you will thank your lucky stars that Plan A never became real. Just imagine, if 20 years ago Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg had given jobs to Jan Koum and Brian Acton, the Whatsapp creators, they would today be earning merely hundreds of thousands dollars only, instead of being billionaires by selling their start-up company to Zuckerberg’s Facebook!
Go For It
Now, you know what options you have and what career path suites you best. Do not forget to discuss about your career strategies with your parents. You have also prepared your action plans A, B and C considering all aspects of pursuing further career. This is the time when you can start sailing towards your goal. You should also promise yourself that you will never take your eyes off your goal.
I hope that with this you will get a clearer picture of what to consider when choosing a career after 12th. In short, keep your eyes and mind open, observe what other people are doing and enjoying in their careers. Identify your aspirations and interests. Eliminate all that’s not feasible. And you should end up with what’s right for you.